We’re moving. We finally bought a house. I’ve been praying for this for a while, so I really can’t wait.
It has everything I wanted. A beautiful view. A bit of character. A layout that lends us privacy. And a neighborhood with friends a stone’s throw away.
Everything I wanted! Except one thing. It needs work.
Pretty much every lovely room needs something. Paint. Flooring. Updates. Oh, and the outdoor wood siding and trim need to be painted. Not a small job. A work in progress.
When they power-washed the outside, little bits of rotting wood were exposed. We were expecting this, but it’s kind of alarming to see.
Sometimes I lay awake at night and think, This is such an adventure! I don’t deserve this.
And other times I wake up and wonder, What was I thinking? This is way too much.
Feels a bit like my family and life in general. So much potential…but so much risk. And a little overwhelming.
The other day I prayed, Lord, my family feels like a little ancient walled city with huge breaks in the walls and breaches about. I can only do so much. There are just too many vulnerable places. I can’t protect them all.
But He says, I am your Shelter. Your Refuge. Your Fortress. (It’s all over the Psalms, really.) And that evening at church the pastor reads from Nehemiah. We get a tour around another city with broken walls and ruined defenses. Work and Pray. That’s what Nehemiah does.
But last night I wanted to throw in the towel. I’m done. I’ve tried, for sure. But, you know, I’m only human.
I wake up this morning and know I need to begin with Confession. Pity parties aren’t in order. So glad I can say, I’m really sorry. I just don’t know what to do. I believe, but can you help my unbelief?
And today I read Psalm 20. It’s a Before-Battle song. You can hear the voices of the people and the voice of the king echoing back in forth in liturgical-like response.
The people bless: May the LORD answer you in the day of trouble! May the name of the God of Jacob protect you!
And: May he grant you your heart’s desire and fulfill all your plans! May we shout for joy over your salvation, and in the name of our God set up our banners! (Seems like they are already anticipating a victory and planning the party.)
The King replies in faith: Now I know that the LORD saves his anointed; he will answer him from his holy heaven with the saving might of his right hand. Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. They collapse and fall, but we rise and stand upright.
So I take a deep breath. And I know. God wants me to trust in Him. Still. He wants me to pick up my paint brush. And my psalter. To work and pray. To face the battle but anticipate the victory. To try, yes. But to Trust , Oh yes!
So here’s to houses and families that need a lot of renovation! And here’s to being overwhelmed…but Seeing Overjoyed on the horizon! And here’s to the God who always forgives, always fights for us, and always ultimately wins.